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LATIN AMERICA / THE CARIBBEAN
The best and worst countries for children
10/18/2012
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New index reveals large differences for children between wealthy and poor countries.

Children born in Iceland, Sweden, Japan and Austria will have a long life and enjoy good health and education, but for those born in Haiti, 165 in every 1,000 will not reach the age of five, 18 percent will suffer from malnutrition and a majority will have limited access to education and health.

Save the Children, an international organization that advocates for children’s’ rights, on Sept. 18 released the Spanish-language report, “El mapa de la supervivencia infantil 2012,” or “The map of child survival 2012,” which ranks the best and worst countries to be born in based on indicators like education, infant mortality rate, mothers’ wellbeing, percentage of underweight children, and access to drinking water.

In 47th place, Costa Rica is the highest-ranked of the 27 Latin American or Caribbean countries — considered to be developing nations — included in the list of 171 countries.

The report maintains that one of the leading obstacles to childhood development is malnutrition, compared with the progress made in the reduction of infant mortality rates and access to education.

“The data on nutrition is alarming,” Save the Children observed. “Between the first and second halves of the decade starting in 2000, the number of malnourished children in developing countries dropped 13 percent, chronic malnutrition decreased only 10 percent, and acute malnutrition not only didn’t drop, it gained 1.2 percent.”
For Save the Children, the so-called “triple f” crisis (financial, fuel, and food prices) has an extensive impact on children’s nutrition
.
—Latinamerica Press.

LATING AMERICA/THE CARIBBEAN
The best and worst countries
for children

Country
Ranking
Infant mortality rate in children under 5
(x 1,000 births)
Costa Rica
47
10
Chile
49
9
Brazil
51
19
Argentina
52
14
Uruguay
52
11
Cuba
56
6
Bahamas
58
16
Barbados
60
20
Mexico
62
17
Belize
68
17
Colombia
72
19
Jamaica
73
24
Trinidad & Tobago
75
27
Panama
76
20
Ecuador
77
20
Peru
80
19
Paraguay
87
25
El Salvador
90
16
Suriname
93
31
Dominican Republic
95
27
Guyana
96
30
Honduras
96
24
Bolivia
98
54
Nicaragua
103
27
Guatemala
107
32
Haiti
150
165

Source: Save the Children


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